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Cumulative Evidence

For something to be admissible as evidence, it must be legally relevant. To be “legally relevant,” its probative value or usefulness must not be outweighed by its costs, including the dangers of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, waste of time, or the needless presentation of cumulative evidence. Kroeger-Eberhart v. Eberhart, 254 S.W.3d 38, 43 (Mo. Ct. App. 2007). 

Evidence is “cumulative” when it needlessly accumulates “additional evidence of the same kind bearing on the same point.” Samplson v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 560 S.W.2d 573, 590 (Mo. 1978). The court has discretion in determining whether evidence becomes cumulative. There is not a clear black and white test. In making this determination, the trial court should determine whether the evidence becomes so prejudicial or inflammatory to the point it outweighs its probative value. Jackson v. State, 205 S.W.3d 282, 288 (Mo. Ct. App. 2006). 

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